Percocet might seem like a harmless painkiller on the surface, but it’s not anything on the level of Aspirin or Advil. It’s meant for short-term management of severe pain and requires a repeat visit to a physician before each refill. However, it is possible to build up both tolerance and dependence on percocet and dependence on painkillers like percocet leads to 100,000 visits to the emergency room every year.
Most addictions to Percocet do start out as a way to treat pain. However, this drug does not address the root causes of the pain, which can lead to taking more than the recommended amount as the patient builds up tolerance.
Emergency room visits involving painkillers involve an overdose that could have been solved if the source of the pain could be tracked down and treated. Emotional disorders and mental trauma may also be factors in addiction to Percocet.
Signs of an addiction include irritability and mood swings, an obsession with maintaining the supply that can lead to illegal activities.
An addict may hop from doctor to doctor with the excuse that they’re trying to find out what’s actually causing the pain that they originally needed the Percocet for.
Long-term effects can include liver and kidney failure, respiratory failure, gastrointestinal problems and possibly even death from overdose. Some of the negative effects of addiction, including kidney and liver failure, are actually caused by the high levels of acetaminophen that Percocet contains.
Addiction to percocet can also lead to social consequences like strained relationships with loved ones, increased isolation and a lack of desire to participate in social activities that the addicted person used to enjoy.
Addicts may feel like they have no control over their lives and may be prone to anxiety and panic attacks or irrational behavior that could cause them to push away their friends and family.
For these reasons, treatment should be sought as soon as possible. The withdrawal is unpleasant (flu-like symptoms, paranoia, and panic attacks being common) but usually only lasts a few days unless the addiction was a severe one and should be accomplished under the care of a doctor who can watch for complications.
The doctor might prescribe drugs like Chlodinine and Naloxone to alleviate the worst of the symptoms. A drug rehabilitation program can help eliminate the physical and psychological factors involved in the addiction.
The best way to avoid addiction to painkillers like Percocet is to deal with the root causes of severe pain. For this reason, your doctor should not try to blow off your concerns about long-term use of painkillers and help you diagnose and treat the condition that may be causing the pain.
However, once addiction has set in, it is recommended that you detox medically and search residential treatment centers for help.
This way, you have less chance of crossing the line between using Percocet to deal with the pain and becoming dependent on this painkiller.